Thursday, 17 July 2014

Singing, Poetry and Dancing at Baskerville Hall

To start with, there was no beer!
There had been a big party over the weekend, and they were down to their last dregs of the Butty Bach, no Guinness, and no Theakstons - and I'm not really a drinker of cider or lager. Fortunately it didn't take Cally long to change the barrel.
I got to sing twice. The first time I'd rehearsed for - a Pentangle song called Let No Man Steal Your Thyme, but later Huw Parsons performed a couple of his poems.
The first was about the last execution in England to take place at the scene of the crime - three men in the 1830s had burnt the hay ricks of a farmer in protest against low agricultural wages, and were hanged for it. This was part of the "Captain Swing" protests. He's been recording it, along with a couple of musicians, for a CD.
Then, Huw had a poem based on the Sound of Music song My Favourite Things - and he asked me to sing the original before he read out his poem! Fortunately, he had the words with him!
Over in the corner was a family which included Charlie, a lad of about ten or eleven who had brought his guitar - he played pretty well, though he wasn't entirely sure how to end a song, and one was a song he'd composed himself. He apologised in advance for it being a "made-up song", and got thoroughly deserved applause at the end of it. His little brother lay down on the floor for a while with a coat over his head, but then he got his second wind, borrowed some egg shaped shakers from the Much Ado trio, and shook them about enthusiastically.
With them was a French girl called Juliette, who didn't speak much English, but had memorised the English lyrics to some songs. Another lad, Ethan, played the melody to one song, and at the end of it young Charlie came up to ask him to play it again because Juliette knew all the words. They went off into the hall to practice, and came back to perform to great applause.
In the other corner was a German couple. The lady asked if there was a piano - there isn't, so she spent the evening playing the spoons along with other performers. And the milk jug, and the tambourine Bob lent her. When Much Ado (guitar, flute/whistle and accordion) were playing, she got up to dance, and got young Charlie up to join her.
Brian, who took me over there, said there'd never been dancing before.
So it was a multinational, multi-talented evening, and all great fun!

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